Dow Chemical raises asset sale target to $3 billion-$4 billion

Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:44pm EDT
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By Swetha Gopinath and Garima Goel

(Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N: Quote) said it now expects to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion from asset sales in the next 18 to 24 months, at least double its earlier target, as it looks to shed businesses exposed to commodity price swings.

The bulk of what Dow Chemical plans to sell is housed in its performance materials business, which was mainly responsible for the company's weaker-than-expected quarterly results.

Dow Chemical shares were down 1.5 percent at $40.45 in early afternoon trading on Thursday.

The performance materials unit includes the epoxy and commodity chlorine derivatives businesses that Dow Chemical wants to sell.

"In performance materials, we are still facing significant headwinds and so that's why you see us increasing that divestiture target to $3 billion-$4 billion," spokeswoman Rebecca Bentley said.

Dow Chemical was earlier targeting proceeds of $1.5 billion from sales of non-core assets.

"It's possible that they will even increase that target again," UBS Investment Research analyst John Roberts said.

The company will shed its epoxy business through a joint venture or a sale, with a transaction expected in the near term, Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said on a conference call.   Continued...

Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company, participates in a group discussion on "Business by Design: Business with Integrity" during the second day of the Clinton Global Initiative 2012 (CGI) in New York on September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson